Monday, November 8, 2010


Traditional Barmbrack
1cup of black tea, prepared
4 cups white flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 tsp Allspice
Pinch of salt
1/2 stick butter
1 package of yeast
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp white sugar
1 1/4 cups luke-warm milk
1 egg, beaten
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried fruit
The evening before, soak the raisins and dried fruit in the brown sugar and tea. Constant Comment is an orange spiced tea which adds a delicious flavor to the fruits, however any black tea can be substituted. Drain before using.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Sift flour, spices and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter.
2. Add the yeast to the teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of the warm milk.
3. Pour the rest of the warm milk and the egg into the yeast mixture and combine with the dry ingredients and the sugar. Beat well and knead until the batter is stiff but elastic.
4. Fold in the prepared fruit. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled. Knead again for another 2 or 3 minutes and divide between two greased 1 1b loaf pans.
5. Wrap the charms* in greaseproof paper and then hide them in the dough. Be sure they are well distributed. Cover again and let rise until the dough comes up to the top of the pan (30 minutes to an hour).
6. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, until the top is nicely browned and the bread sounds hollow when thumped.

* you put stuff in it.  Then it tells your fortune if you get that thing in your slice.  Bean: poverty (or bachelorhood), button: bachelorhood, cloth: poverty, thimble: spinsterhood, coin: wealth, gold ring: marriage, matchstick: the husband will beat the wife.

Keeps about one week in a sealed container, but do note: Stale Barmbrack is still delicious when toasted and buttered!


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